Category Archive: News

Three wins for people walking and biking

Some of the Basic Bike Network supporters at City Council on July 30

What a Monday! On Monday, July 30 at Seattle City Council passed three exciting pieces of legislation:

  1. The Seattle City Council unanimously voted today in favor of building major pieces of the basic bike network. Thanks to this vote you and your loved ones will have safe, protected routes to bike into and through downtown Seattle from the north, south, and east (2nd Ave to Westlake, Dearborn, and Broadway) by the end of next year. Read more.
  2. The Council also voted unanimously to require SDOT to improve walking and biking conditions in the Delridge neighborhood as part of the Delridge Way Multimodal Corridor Project. Read more.Potential Delridge bike network compromise
  3. The Council also voted unanimously to pass an expansion of the privately funded bike share program with a focus on equity and reducing the number of bikes blocking sidewalks. Read more.

29623886668_bf81942d60_oAppreciate these wins? Support our work so we can keep this momentum going.


#BasicBikeNetwork FINAL VOTE July 30!

Thanks to continued community support of the Basic Bike Network, we are on the final steps of a major win: the full Seattle City Council will vote on July 30 whether to construct three critical bicycling connections by the end of 2019!

Show up on Monday, July 30, 2:00 pm, at Seattle City Hall to stand with the group and demonstrate the need for the #BasicBikeNetwork.

RSVP and learn more.

Can’t make it? Send an email voicing your support.

A woman and her two children sit in the City Council chambers smiling and holding handmade signs in support of safe streets.
What’s the Basic Bike Network? It’s a vision for a connected network of safe streets to bike on–not just disconnected pieces here and there.
But the basic bike network has been delayed year after year, including a disappointing delay announced this March. We raised our voices, rallied in front of City Hall, and even took to the streets for Seattle’s first people-protected bike lane to make our message clear: We can’t wait any longer to make our city safer and more accessible.

And we are starting to be heard. You may have seen our message that, thanks to your advocacy, the city committed to protected bike lanes on the Pike/Pine Corridor without further delays. And last week, in front of an impassioned crowd of community members advocating for safe streets, this legislation passed unanimously out of the City Council’s Transportation and Sustainability Committee. Help us keep the momentum going.
If this legislation passes, you and your loved ones will have safe, protected routes to bike into and through downtown Seattle from the north, south, and east (2nd Ave to Westlake, Dearborn, and Broadway) by the end of next year. Let’s make this happen.
A comparison between current, unsafe conditions at the intersection of Pine and Boren and a happy image of a protected bike lane filled with happy bikers on a rainy day.
When: Monday, July 30, 2:00 – 3:00 pm
Where: Seattle City Hall, in the Council Chambers (2nd floor).
How: By standing with us and holding signs of support (we will have some available) during the public comment period of the meeting. It is likely to be a crowded meeting, so we will stand up to speak as a group. If you’re interested in speaking please contact Kids and families very welcome!
Thank you and we’ll see you on July 30!

A headshot of Clara CantorClara Cantor

Community Organizer
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

P.S. Thank you for your continued advocacy – you are making a difference!

Basic Bike Network Vote July 18!

Thanks to incredible community advocacy in support of the Basic Bike Network, we are on the cusp of a major win: the Seattle City Council Transportation Committee is considering legislation requiring the construction of three critical connections by the end of 2019, but we need your support!

Show up at noon on Wednesday, July 18, at Seattle City Hall, and ask the Council to vote for the #BasicBikeNetwork. We will have snacks and signs, or feel free to bring your own.

RSVP and learn more.

Can’t make it? Send an email voicing your support.


What’s the Basic Bike Network? It’s a vision for a connected network of safe streets to bike on–not just disconnected pieces here and there.


But the basic bike network has been delayed year after year, including a disappointing delay announced this March. We raised our voices, rallied in front of City Hall, and even took to the streets for Seattle’s first people-protected bike lane to make our message clear: We can’t wait any longer to make our city safer and more accessible.

And we are starting to be heard. You may have seen our message that, thanks to your advocacy, the city committed to protected bike lanes on the Pike/Pine Corridor without further delays. Help us keep the momentum going.
If this legislation passes, you and your loved ones will have safe, protected routes to bike into and through downtown Seattle from the north, south, and east (2nd Ave to Westlake, Dearborn, and Broadway) by the end of next year. Let’s make this happen.
A comparison between current, unsafe conditions at the intersection of Pine and Boren and a happy image of a protected bike lane filled with happy bikers on a rainy day.

Join us as we tell the City Council: Vote for the Basic Bike Network now! When: Wednesday, July 18, 11:50 am – 12:20 pmWhere: Seattle City Hall, in the Council Chambers (2nd floor).RSVP: On Facebook or to

How: By standing with us and holding signs of support (we will have some available) during the public comment period of the meeting. If you’re interested in speaking please contact Feel free to bring a bag lunch and a friend. Kids and families very welcome!

Can’t make it? Send an email voicing your support.

Thank you and we’ll see you on July 18!

A headshot of Clara CantorClara Cantor

Community Organizer

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways



P.S. Thank you for your continued advocacy – you are making a difference!

Pike/Pine in 2019: Big win thanks to your advocacy!

Thanks to your advocacy, the Mayor and SDOT staff have committed to building safe, protected bike lanes on Pike/Pine connecting downtown and Capitol Hill by 2019!

Please take a moment to thank the Mayor now.

A group of people holding signs in support of the Basic Bike Network gathered around a speaker at a microphone.

This is a significant win in a prolonged campaign for the Basic Bike Network. We have gathered to raise our voices time and again—via email petitions, in City Council chambers, and at powerful rallies—and we are being heard. 

That’s why we are so excited that the Mayor and SDOT have committed to building the crucial east-west connection of the Basic Bike Network in 2019, with additional upgrades to follow in the coming years. 

A comparison between current, unsafe conditions at the intersection of Pine and Boren and a happy image of a protected bike lane filled with happy bikers on a rainy day.

Please take a moment to thank the Mayor for committing to building protected bike lanes on Pike/Pine from Downtown to Capitol Hill in 2019! Let’s keep the momentum for the Basic Bike Network going!

Thank you for your continued advocacy – you are making a difference!

Safer Crossings for Madison Park Business District

Story by Bob Edmiston, Madison Park Greenways.

In the summer of 2013, a Madison Park resident was struck by a driver while walking across East Madison Street in a marked crosswalk, in broad daylight—and was critically injured. The community organized and formally asked the City of Seattle to make it safer to cross the street in our little neighborhood business district.

The community’s focus was on a complicated 6-way intersection where East Madison Street, McGilvra Blvd East and East Garfield Street meet. Many of the crossing distances there ranged from 50-100 feet across, exposing people on foot to hazardous speeding traffic. Parking near and within the intersection was blocking critical lines of sight between people walking and people driving. The combination of these compounding design flaws are thought to have factored into the tragic collision of 2013. Fixing these hazards became the objective of our Madison Park Greenways group.



Five years later, after many grant applications, pitches, community design meetings and countless volunteer hours, the project is now nearly complete. The results are excellent. The adjoining streets have been squared up, entrances narrowed, curb lines moved in order to reduce pedestrian crossing distances and sight lines have been improved. Landscaping is being restored in a way that will permanently keep sight lines clear.



By eliminating the worst safety issues of this very complicated intersection, this project has made Madison Park’s central intersection feel safer to cross on foot and safer to drive through. Since this intersection is the primary crossing for children who attend McGilvra Elementary School, the improved intersection opens up the possibility of walking or biking to school to more of the community.



The man who was critically injured has recovered has been anticipating completion of this project. It was his desire that the crossing between Wells Fargo Bank and Starbucks be finally made safe for those who live, visit and work here.



This project would not have been possible without a sustained multi-year direct collaboration effort between the Madison Park Community Council, the Madison Park Business Association, Madison Park Greenways and the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and Seattle Department of Transportation staff. They have all done outstanding work. We plan on holding a ribbon cutting celebration soon.

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West Seattleites Organize for a “Multi-Modal” (Walk, Bike, Transit) Delridge Corridor

Photos and story by Don Brubeck, West Seattle Bike Connections. Updates by SNG Staff.

Doug is a scientist and lover of beer. He lives in Delridge, and he wants a safe and comfortable way to ride with his wife and child to White Center. Doug was a pro bike racer, but he is not comfortable riding with his family on Delridge Way.

Charmaine is a musician and square dance caller. She lives in White Center and wants to be able to bike with her husband and child to Delridge’s library, parks, and community center.

Right now, neither of them has good options, so they organized a ride with other West Seattle Bike Connections members, Gordon Padelford from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, Cascade Bicycle Club’s Kelsey Mesher, and three SDOT employees to look into improvements.



Top priority: a multimodal corridor

West Seattle Bike Connections’ top priority for 2018 is the Delridge RapidRide H multimodal corridor project. This is the opportunity to make the street safe for people walking and biking, including getting to and from the new RapidRide stops. This is one of the Move Seattle Levy projects that WSBC members worked hard to pass, because of the positive impact it can have for the traditionally underserved neighborhoods of the Delridge Corridor. Delridge is the flattest, most direct route through the valley (the “dell” between the ridges), from the south end at White Center to the north end at the West Seattle Bridge and the Alki and Duwamish Trails.

Assessing the needs and possibilities

WSBC did scouting rides, discussed issues and mapped routes. With Gordon’s help, we evaluated our possibilities for success and developed strategies. Gordon and Kelsey helped us gain access to SDOT staff for meetings and rides. We reached verbal agreements in principle from SDOT staff to some key requests we made for Delridge, and for spot improvements to the alternate northbound greenway bike route that SDOT has proposed. Our next steps are to build community support, using our members who live on the corridor to make connections.

File Jan 19, 1 16 58 PMFile Jan 19, 1 16 26 PM

Our challenges include: narrow roadway width along part of the corridor—two blocks with closely spaced driveways that would perforate a protected bike lane, the tendency of some to pit transit versus bikes, and potential removal of car parking on a few blocks.

We want to emphasize how biking can support the RapidRide’s less closely-spaced bus stops and the pedestrian safety improvements for crossing busy Delridge, especially at schools.

File Jan 19, 1 20 37 PM


Building community support

Now we are building relationships with community groups:

  • In April, four of our members did a helmet giveaway and fitting at Boren STEM K-8 school, using a Small Sparks grant that Joe and Marlowe Laubach got through the PTSA.
  • WSBC members who are school parents are planning Bike to School activities.
  • We are supporting an after-school bike club project at Puget Ridge Cohousing that Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association’s Willard Brown initiated.
  • We are talking with Willard Brown about other Safe Routes to Schools projects.
  • We moved our monthly meetings to Neighborhood House in High Point, more convenient to the Delridge corridor.

After we garner support from the variety of community groups, we will go to our Seattle City Council members and make our case to the public at large.

Up to the challenge

There is a lot more work to do. It will take concentrated effort to build support in time to have an impact on the RapidRide project. But we have members who are willing, and we are up to the challenge. We are grateful for the support and wise counsel that Seattle Neighborhood Greenways staff are giving us.

Interested in joining our efforts? Learn more at

Update (April 11th, 2018):

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways collaborated with West Seattle Bike Connections, Seattle Subway, Transportation Choices Coalition, Transit Riders Union, Feet First, and Cascade Bicycle Club to come to a compromise around a design for this corridor. The comprimse design keeps buses moving through the most congested portions of the corridor, provides a southbound protected bike lane on Delridge Way, a northbound bike route on significantly upgraded neighborhood greenways, and improves sidewalks and crosswalks along the corridor. Read our collaborative Delridge multimodal corridor letter.

Screen Shot 2018-07-18 at 5.40.22 PM

Update: (July 30th, 2018):

Led by Councilmembers Lisa Herbold, Seattle City Council voted unanimously to continue collaborating with us and community groups to come to a design that improves mobility and safety for all. They required (by restricting future funding) SDOT to return to the City Council Transportation Committee with details about investments in the walking and biking compromise outline above as the project moves forward. Thank you to Councilmember Herbold for your leadership on this important project!

Lisa Herbold asking SDOT for answers about the proposed investments for walking and biking

Lisa Herbold asking SDOT for answers about the proposed investments for walking and biking

Delridge bike route compromise routing

Potential compromise bike routes

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Fixing Rainier Ave: Group Bike Ride Looks at a Contested Street

Story by Adrian Down, Rainier Valley Greenways.

For people biking in Rainier Valley, finding safe and direct routes can be a challenge. Answers to the question, “What’s the best way to get from Columbia City to downtown?” vary widely because right now, none of the options are great. Rainier Avenue might be the flattest and most direct route, but the current street design is unsafe for people on bikes. Safer routes over Beacon Hill or north to Judkins add both considerable mileage and elevation.

This challenge is at the heart of a current debate, as Seattle Department of Transportation redesigns Rainier Ave to create a new RapidRide bus line serving the Valley. This line will replace Metro’s current Route 7, a well-used route that is a vital connection for many people in the South End.

The future of Rainier Avenue: three options on the table

Seattle Department of Transportation’s proposal for Rainier Avenue improvements includes a few different options for bike routes running the length of Rainier Valley. The three proposed options include routes connecting sections of protected bike lanes along Rainier Ave with sections of greenways and other infrastructure off the main Rainier Ave corridor, in varying configurations. One of these proposed sections off Rainier connects from the Mount Baker light rail station (at Rainier Ave South and Martin Luther King Blvd) north to South Dearborn Street and the I-90 Trail.

180313_AdvisoryBoard_RRR180313_AdvisoryBoard_RRR option 2180313_AdvisoryBoard_RRR option 3
Putting the City’s solutions to the test

A group of nine Rainier Valley Greenways volunteers braved light afternoon rain and had a great time touring the three options for this section of the proposed bike route to provide on-the-ground feedback to SDOT. Our group consisted of multiple types of bikes and riders, including a cargo bike full of groceries, bikeshare bikes, and a family with a young child on a bike pulled by her parent—which gave us commentary from a spectrum of experiences. After riding the proposed routes going north from the light rail station towards South Dearborn Street and downtown, we compiled a list of observations and suggestions.


Our ride and recommendations

  • The group ride started at Mount Baker Station at Rainier Avenue South and Martin Luther King Junior Way South. We found right away that improved crossings at Martin Luther King Junior Way South and Rainier Avenue are essential. This busy intersection is the gateway to a major transit hub (the Mount Baker light rail station) and requires preferential treatment for pedestrians and people on bikes trying to access the station. More sidewalk space for people waiting for the lights to change, curb cuts that face into crosswalks rather than into busy traffic lanes, and safe, intuitive infrastructure for bikes would be drastic improvements.
  • We rode north from Mount Baker Station on Martin Luther King Junior Way South, which currently has heavy, fast-moving car traffic and will require modification before it feels comfortable for people on bikes. We recommend fully protected bike lanes on this stretch of busy road.
  • The first challenge for this proposed route is a left turn from Martin Luther King Junior Way South to get people on bikes onto back roads and eventually across Rainier Avenue. Of the two proposed route options, the South Bayview Street crossing of Rainier Avenue, seemed superior to crossing at South Plum Street, where we observed traffic backing up and blocking the intersections where South Plum Street crosses both 23rd Avenue South and Rainier Avenue. A protected intersection at South Bayview Street and Martin Luther King Junior Way South will be essential to help people on bikes make a left turn from MLK Jr Way across multiple lanes of traffic. This intersection will require crossing lights, markings, and traffic calming to be safe and comfortable for people to cross.
  • South Bayview Street is a relatively quiet road, but its wide street design encourages high car speeds. A safer experience requires either protected bike lanes on both sides or a woonerf design that would both discourage cut-throughs and slow car drivers enough that the mixing of high bike traffic and infrequent cars is reasonable. While this route will need safety upgrades, our group was pleasantly surprised by the relatively flat terrain of the back roads that we toured in this area.
  • Our group continued west along South Bayview Street and crossed Rainier Avenue. This intersection is critical.
    We recommend a full traffic light that provides plenty of time for a large group of people walking and biking to cross. Additionally, pedestrian improvements such as building curb cuts that face into the crosswalks, rather than diagonally into traffic lanes as they do now, and narrowing the entrance from South Bayview Street onto Rainier Avenue. We also suggest closing South Bayview Street on the West side of Rainier Avenue to cars. This would not restrict the access of vehicles to any businesses serviced by that intersection and would create a much safer route for people on bikes to travel and wait at the intersection.



  • The route winds along side streets to the west of Rainier Avenue that are relatively quiet with low traffic volumes. However, they are wide industrial streets with several potential dangers. The current road design with wide lanes, sloping, gravel shoulders, and wide turning radiuses at intersections encourages cars and trucks to speed. The roads are scattered with gravel and industrial-area detritus, and multiple driveways and parking lots create conflict points. And the route is windy and confusing, directing people on bikes and on foot through an area that isn’t intuitive. We suggest that this whole route be treated as a mixed-use path. Intersections should include diverters or reduced widths and curve radiuses. It would be possible to keep routes accessible for trucks and other large vehicles by building low curbs that can be driven over. We would like to see sites with multiple entrances reduced as much as possible, and clearly defined where they are required. The route also needs ample signage and street markings to make wayfinding effortless, and clearly mark the road as a mixed use right of way. The lack of traffic is a plus of this route, and it could feel safe given these improvements. Finally, the entrance from this route to the I-90 trail has misaligned bollards and curb ramps. A wider, more accessible entrance would accommodate people on bikes, particularly those with cargo bikes, long frames, and trailers, and people in wheelchairs.


The value of community-based scouting rides

SDOT’s proposed routes present plenty of design challenges, but we hope that by providing detailed input, we can help to make the final product as usable and comfortable as possible for all people on bikes and on foot.

Group rides touring proposed routes are a fantastic way for neighbors to provide valuable, impactful feedback to SDOT and other planners. Being on the ground in these spaces, looking at intersections from a bicyclist or pedestrian viewpoint provides a user experience that is incredibly important to the success of the final project. Our group shared valuable local knowledge and feedback, built neighborhood connections and community, and had a great time.

Thank you to all of our Rainier Valley Greenways volunteers for joining us and contributing their voices and viewpoints to this project.


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How the Community Package was Won

EDITORS NOTE: You probably have heard that we won $83 million for walking, biking, parks, and affordable housing paid for by the Washington State Convention Center expansion project, but have you heard the full story? Let Central Seattle Greenways co-leader Brie Gyncild tell you the inside story of how it all came together.


Story by Brie Gyncild, Central Seattle Greenways.

What’s an alley worth? Or the area underneath a city street? When a developer asks to assume public property for private development, it’s called a street or alley “vacation” and they have to provide a commensurate public benefit. The Washington State Convention Center required alley and underground street vacations to make their project work and therefore they needed to provide public benefits.

Use of public resources—what do we, the public, get back in exchange?

The proposed Washington State Convention Center Addition is a colossal undertaking, with a design that depends on the City vacating multiple alleys and the right of way under some major downtown streets. The $1.6 billion expansion is one of the largest developments in Seattle history and is to be built on publicly owned land, by a public entity, and using public funding.

Seizing the opportunity to shape the project’s public benefits, several community groups and nonprofits set about advocating—separately—to have their individual projects included in the public benefits package.

For our part, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways was focused on obtaining funding for protected bike lanes in the Pike/Pine corridor and on 8th Avenue, as well as pedestrian safety improvements on the I-5 overpasses on Pike Street, Pine Street, and Olive Way. Other organizations were advocating for improvements to Freeway Park, a Lid I-5 feasibility study, affordable housing, funding for the Terry Avenue woonerf, and other worthy projects.

Stronger together

But we recognized that we’d be stronger if we worked together to gain the investments the community needs most: public open spaces, safe routes for people walking and biking, and homes affordable to working families.

So, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways convened a coalition of transportation, parks, and affordable housing organizations to fight for a fair deal. The Community Package Coalition, as we call ourselves, is made up of our own neighborhood groups Central Seattle Greenways and the First Hill Improvement Association, as well as Capitol Hill Housing, Cascade Bicycle Club, the Freeway Park Association, the Housing Development Consortium, Lid I-5, and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways.

Community Package Coalition logos


Pooling our limited resources, we galvanized public support through months of public outreach, public tours of the convention center sites and the benefits included in the Community Package, meetings with City Council members, public comment at Seattle Design Commission meetings, and significant press coverage.

Thousands of hours of effort paid off when we successfully negotiated $61 million in public benefits with the developer of the Convention Center Addition. This investment, in addition to the $20 million already proposed by the Convention Center, is commensurate with the scale of the vacation petition and is comparable to other recent large, multi-block developments.

community package hearing april 18 2018 cropped


An historic win: $83 million in public benefits!

We didn’t get everything we wanted; negotiations often require compromise. But the final public benefits package is four times the size of the developer’s original offer, and ultimately, the community will receive safer biking and walking infrastructure, affordable housing, and much-needed open space.

After we reached an agreement with Pine Street Group (the developer of the WSCC Addition), the City Council unanimously approved the vacation and proposed benefits on May 7, granting the Pine Street Group its necessary permits.

community package map of benefits

Going forward

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is proud to be part of the Community Package Coalition and its successful partnership with WSCC to realize a shared vision of building a well-connected, accessible, people-centered city with opportunity and benefits for all. This achievement demonstrates what is possible when community groups band together and work to reach a fair deal with developers.

While the Community Package Coalition has provided a great example of how community groups and developers can work together to create a powerful legacy, we recognize that this took a significant amount of effort and that not all communities may be able to replicate our efforts.That’s why we’re pleased that on May 21, City Council passed a resolution to update the city’s right-of-way vacation policies, making the process easier for communities that have fewer resources, and providing clarity for developers about the value of street and alley vacations and the types of public benefits that are needed.

Final thoughts

In the end, we not only won an amazing list of public benefits (see the map above) from the Washington State Convention Center, but also changed the system itself to be more accessible, equitable, and result in more fair deals for our public land.

My own personal take: Nothing like this has been done before, and the process required creativity, persistence, and trust that we could work together. Not only did we pave the way for future community benefits wins, but we developed strong relationships among the coalition partners along the way.

Inspired by this community-driven victory? Pitch in to help make more outcomes like this possible.


Can-Do Neighbors “Daylight” Sidewalks, Show City How It’s Done

Photos and story by Greenwood-Phinney Greenways

In celebration of Earth Day, Greenwood-Phinney Greenways and Licton-Haller Greenways held a lively and well-attended community service event where neighbors were able to “reveal” and clear off a significant stretch of sidewalk along the west side of Greenwood Ave North, between North 120th Street and North 122nd Street, previously buried under gravel .

“Yes, the work was harder than we’d expected,” said Robin Randels, co-leader of the Greenwood-Phinney Greenways group. “We’d thought—shoveling compacted gravel? How tough could that be? Ha!”



Making a key neighborhood street safer for all

The pay-off for their strenuous effort was palpable: “We saw several people walking or jogging along this stretch, as well as people waiting at the bus stop while we worked. Hopefully, our service will help make this stretch safer and more accessible for all. Additionally, we collected a large garbage bag full of trash, a bucket of recycling, and 3 syringes (disposed of in a proper sharps container).”

Check out these before-and-after photos of the daylighted sidewalk:



Fixing a cluttered, impassable sidewalk may seem like a small victory, but it points to a much larger issue for many of the neighborhood streets in the Greenwood area: that is, the lack of safe and comfortable sidewalks for kids walking or biking to school, people walking to the bus stops, library patrons, and seniors on scooters or in chairs attempting to get home.


Numerous hazards for neighbors on foot

Other common sidewalk impediments in the area include large scale, overgrown laurel hedges that block pedestrian right-of-way, apartment building parking, and other vehicle parking that are frequently encroaching on the would-be public walkway.

Local traffic in the area is fast and dangerously close to those walking along Greenwood Ave North.

”We had multiple lanes of traffic to cross during our weekend clean-up—and it was sad to see, there wasn’t a single car that stopped for us,” shared Randels. “But you know, it’s not all that surprising for those of us who live in the area. It’s just very oriented around cars and driving here—and not around people on foot or in wheelchairs.”

More attention and effort needed from the City

Safety enhancements for people who walk along Greenwood Ave N were envisioned in the Move Seattle Levy. While improvements have been made south of North 112th Street, and more are coming north of North 137th Street, this middle stretch between the two is glaringly lacking in even rudimentary sidewalk access—a condition that falls short of Seattle’s own Complete Streets policy.

The Greenwood-Phinney Greenways group, a member group of the Seattle Neighborhoods Greenway coalition, is hoping that the City will step in to “daylight” the existing sidewalks in this part of District 5, and that the overgrown vegetation is cleaned up to provide a temporary solution for pedestrians on this stretch of Greenwood Avenue.

Randels: “Unfortunately, this overgrowth and resulting obstruction are so vast that cutting it back is well beyond the capacity of our group (and likely that of the adjacent homeowners as well). It is a liability for the city and a hazard for our citizens who are forced to walk in the street as a result. At this point, the situation seems overly large and impractical to coordinate with the multiple homeowners along this stretch to get the job done in a timely fashion. Ideally, we need a City crew out there to get it cut back and hauled off just as soon as it can be arranged.”



Safe and accessible walking routes: an ongoing issue for Greenwood and the City at large

The Greenwood-Phinney Greenways group is continuing to meet with city leaders to discuss ways to fund and implement more permanent improvements to provide safety and accessibility for all users on this important corridor.

A Seattle Neighborhood Greenways citywide priority is the conversation about how pedestrian projects are funded and constructed. The Greenwood-Phinney and Licton-Haller Greenways groups are working on making Greenwood Ave North an example for the city.

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Arena Redevelopment to Bring Walking and Biking Improvements to N. Downtown

Story by Andrew Koved, Queen Anne Greenways.

The KeyArena redevelopment project has the opportunity to transform the Uptown neighborhood—for better or for worse. Seattle Neighborhood Greenways has been working hard to ensure that the Oakview Group, the developers hired for the project, will be building infrastructure and setting norms that will set the course for a world-class urban street system that can move people safely and efficiently to and from the arena, and connect to existing city-wide routes that will serve as key access corridors into and through Uptown, Belltown, South Lake Union, and beyond.

Uptown Mobility map walk and bike


Evaluating the impact on surrounding neighborhoods

The redevelopment of KeyArena has generated multiple studies, groups, and actions—with many questions focused on the impacts this project will have on surrounding neighborhoods.

When Oakview Development Group agreed with the City of Seattle to redevelop the arena for use for hockey and basketball, they funded a study to look at the mobility and transportation needs of the area. This resulting North Downtown Mobility Action Plan (NDMAP), looked at the redevelopment of the arena at Seattle Center, the rest of the Uptown neighborhood, as well as Belltown and South Lake Union neighborhoods.

Although not named explicitly in the process, Denny Triangle and parts of Lower Queen Anne were taken into consideration for the study as well due to their proximity. The goal of the study was to understand the current issues with pedestrian, bike, transit, freight, and public realm infrastructure in these areas, and then fund the implementation of priority projects from among the findings. Oakview Group will pay roughly $40 million over 20 years for these improvements; funding separate from mitigation costs which will be required through the environmental impact statement.

North Downtown is seeing truly rapid growth, and it is critical that people on foot and on bicycles have safe and connected routes into and through the city. Seattle Department of Transportation has taken a piecemeal approach that has led to a small number of wins—such as the increased ridership on the 2nd Avenue bike lane—but many more continued gaps. Oakview Group was interested in studying these areas and helping to identify those projects that hold massive potential.

Oakview Group brings neighborhood groups together, and faces some challenges

Oakview Group sought a local, on-the-ground, perspective to best understand the transportation issues plaguing these neighborhoods, and so they brought together a large and varied collection of neighborhood groups and citywide organizations. Since December, Oakview Group has held monthly meetings to bring together this broad coalition to work on the NDMAP and receive their feedback.

Queen Anne Greenways and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways were a part of these meetings, along with organizations such as Cascade Bicycle Club, Uptown Alliance, Seattle Center, Rise Up Belltown and Community Councils from Queen Anne and South Lake Union. The meetings combined the personal community knowledge with the expertise from Oakview Group, staff from City of Seattle including Seattle Department of Transportation and Council Member Sally Bagshaws’ office, and Nelson Nygaard, the firm conducting the NDMAP. The coalition faced challenges surrounding the diversity of interests represented at the table, with many groups not seeing the same concerns nor seeking the same solutions.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways leads discussion on public benefits

With a long list of issues facing pedestrians and cyclists in the North Downton, Belltown, and South Lake Union areas of the city, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways staff, along with Andrew Koved of Queen Anne Greenways, brought together a smaller number of community leaders to prioritize projects that maximize the Oakview Group investment and help complete a basic bicycle and pedestrian network through North Downtown. In collaboration with Cascade Bicycle Club, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways hosted an open house to get direct community feedback on the most important projects and goals for the NDMAP investment.

Turn-out to the event was high despite the drizzly March evening, with nearly 100 community members from the various impacted neighborhoods. With snacks and drinks in hand, neighbors pored over maps and marked their priorities for pedestrian and bicycle projects that would facilitate mobility and increase safety. A wonderful range of experiences and organizations were heard, and the outcome of the evening reflected this diversity. It was important to make sure that the pedestrian and bicycle group led by Seattle Neighborhood Greenways understood the pain points of Seattle’s infrastructure, and this evening was key to ensuring that the projects selected by Oakview Group reflected the needs of the community.


SNG priority for improved mobility: connected corridors to and through North Downtown

Though the needs and recommendations from the open house were many, they focused around people’s ability to safely connect into and through the North Downtown area along key connected corridors. The SNG-led group distilled these ideas into a set list of priority projects and improvements, focused on key pieces of the network that would have the greatest number of impacted users.

Response to Oakview Group’s Draft EIS Statement

Oakview Group released their draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) in May, and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways and Queen Anne Greenways participated in two opportunities to provide feedback and recommendations. The larger coalition of neighborhood groups participated in a second negotiating process and produced a strong letter endorsing a multimodal vision for the neighborhood and pushing the Oakview Group to work hard to decrease Arena attendees’ reliance on private vehicles.

Final Recommendations from SNG, Cascade Bicycle Club, and Feet First

Then, SNG also produced a more direct letter in collaboration with Cascade and Feet First that was more detailed in asking for specific routes and improvements for people walking and riding bikes.

The final list of recommendations includes: 

  • Street improvements surrounding Seattle Center including protected bike lanes on Roy St, 5th Avenue, Broad Street, Queen Anne Avenue, and 1st Avenue North, and pedestrian improvements on Valley Street and Olympic Place.
  • Wayfinding and other improvements on Harrison Street connecting Seattle Center to the John Coney Overpass for people walking and biking.
  • Connections east from Seattle Center that prioritize pedestrian and bicycle movement including signal re-timing and upgrading along Mercer and Denny, and the construction of a Thomas Street Neighborhood Greenway.
  • Connections to downtown routes including Bell Street and 4th Avenue.
  • Other recommendations including expanding bicycle parking, incorporating lighting and wayfinding, and partnering with bikeshare and rideshare companies to provide designated parking and pickup locations.

Exactly what projects will get funded is not yet known. Projects have a chance of being funded either by the limited NDMAP funding or the larger pot of mitigation funding from the Community Benefits Agreement that will result from the final environmental impact statement when it is released this summer. Then, all of these agreements must be approved by the Seattle City Council.

Although the final outcomes cannot yet be known, it does look as though many of the suggestions from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways and from the larger neighborhood coalition will move forward.

To show your public support for this project, mark your calendar for the next Seattle City Council Select Committee for Arenas meeting on July 26 at 2:00 pm.


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